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Britten, Poulenc, Rodrigo & Bridge

Caroline MacPhie soprano
Joseph Middleton piano

Rodrigo 4 madrigales amatorios
Britten The Poet’s Echo Op. 76
Poulenc Fiançailles pour rire
& songs by Bridge

YCAT Lunchtime Concert,
Wigmore Hall 1 February 2011

A promising programme in prospect, and well prepared by a thoughtful and diligent young singer with a good professional CV taking in a Royal Academy Opera course, this occasion found Caroline MacPhie in less than best voice. Her high notes were shrill to the point of pain, which vitiated sound interpretations in which her regular accompanist Joseph Middleton was a tower of strength.

The Britten Pushkin cycle, composed for Galina Vishneskaya and rather rarely heard in concert, might have made more connection with the London audience if McPhie had not opted to sing it in the original Russian.

A Wigmore Hall recital has always been a significant career marker and one can understand reluctance to withdraw, as bookings for this successful venue are now filled years ahead.

One hopes that all will be well again by the Spring for this singer's appearance in Agrappina with Cambridge Handel Opera.

Peter Grahame Woolf